Friday, March 31, 2006

Get Healthy Now!

woohoo. I finally managed to talk to my "health coach" from Gordian. It's this program through U of L or Humana, whoever, that basically saves me $20 a month on health insurance premiums. I have to make some healthy lifestyle changes and talk to a health coach every couple of months. I'm not sure if the health coach had any idea that I'm a physician, but I figured telling her wouldn't accomplish anything at this juncture. She'll just think I'm even more of an idiot. Anyway, they're sending me lots of "helpful" information on my chosen goal: weightloss and in-shapeness. We'll see if that helps.

I did set some goals with her, which I think we probably recorded officially.
--Long term: lose 35-40 lbs, get in better general shape.
--6 months: lose 25 lbs.
--Short term: work out more consistently and try to stick to a healthier diet (i.e., about 1300 calories).

Embracing the awkward.

Everyone has been in those situations at work when there's some unspoken awkwardness. When something has happened that is sort of hanging out there for a few days or weeks. No one really mentions it specifically, but it's the careful avoidance of the subject that becomes noticeable. I feel like I'm there right now. And I'm one of the awkward subjects, although I won't detail the story. Because I'm feeling a little bitter about it all, I decided it would be fun to make sure that everyone feels awkward, too. Not like I want to make a big issue of it, just having a little fun. Basically all I'm doing is bringing up the topic that everyone is hoping will be forgotten. Relishing my bad attitude. But in a cheerful way.

It will be over when I'm over it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Dealing with the difficult patient.

That's the subject of the lecture I'm scheduled to give next week. Someone gave me the awesome idea to include the episode of Seinfeld in which Elaine is labeled as a difficult patient. I spent a while trying to figure out which episode it was, and then realized it's The Package from season 8, which hasn't been released yet. crap. that was a great plan. maybe I can find it somewhere to download... I'll give it a try at least.

If I don't do something interesting, this hour is totally going to blow, because who isn't freaking tired of hearing about communication skills and the somatasizing patient? ugh. So I'll have to come up with a gimmick somehow. Must brainstorm.

A blank slate.

Here's the "before" version of our garden: two 10x3' raised beds, surrounded by gravel. Just waiting for all the fun new stuff we have planned. It looks a little depressing, all that grayness next to our neighbor's nice green yard. But soon it will be fun again. And we're going to start working on the actual yard itself, too--aerating, fertilizing, overseeding, and watering the shit out of it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

no pressure

Only 15 months until I enter the real world. So between now and then, all I need to do is figure out where I want to spend the rest of my life and exactly what kind of practice I want. Plus, who do I want to work with, and in what kind of office, for what hospital? Not that those are big decisions or anything. I know nothing has to be forever, but it's tough to think of re-starting again.

I'm not even sure where to begin. Looking at hospitals? Towns? I'd rather not use a recruiter, because (a) I don't believe that they're generally trustworthy, and (b) it kinda makes me feel slimy. Not positive why that is.

My strategy thus far has been denial. Always worked well in the past, so I think I'll stick with it a while longer. Or at least keep it in my back pocket to fall back on if I need it.

Maybe these guys can help:

Can't hurt to ask.


Yup, the Gipper is into it, too. I pull the weeds, and he chews them into submission.

I love getting home early, because I have such dreams of playing outside in the daylight when the weather is nice. And the weather is super-nice today. But then I go outside, and the laziness overtakes me. Is it just me, or does it feel more active to sit outside in a hammock than it does to sit inside at a computer? Just being outside makes me feel like I should get credit for working out. That's really sad. My standards are so low.

On a different note, I've volunteered us to work on the residency's website, which can be perused here. It's just a tiny bit outdated, and the undoneness of it offends the little graphic designer still hidden somewhere inside me. I know sometimes there's no avoiding the *under construction* pages, but I could live without the little caution bars. Maybe this can be my "little project." (Can you read the sarcasm there?)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Contemplating a drastic cut.

I've been wanting to chop the mop for a while. Maybe this year I'll get the guts to do it.

Some cuts I like:

But what I'm afraid will happen:

I think I could put up with it as long as I'm still able to have some sort of nub or ponytail. I guess I'll eventually talk myself into a cut.

Thanks for the inspiration,

"I've seen better heads on boils." --PeeWee

I'm addicted to cheese.

Truly I am. I think I'd pick cheese over ice cream, or crawfish even. Maybe not every time, but if I had to choose one to eat for the rest of my life, cheese would certainly win. Mint chocolate chip, you sultry vixen, don't hold that against me. I still love you a lot. Just not the most.

And just when you think you're the fattest ever, you get fatter.

Yep, only 3 weeks off from the Y, and I'm working hard on obesity again. The week we were in Belize I did walk my butt off in the heat. But we've been hitting the gym again this week, and I feel like all those weeks of cardio and weight-lifting have disappeared. Yesterday I struggled to just do 10 minutes on the elliptical, and not even at a strenuous pace. Today we stuck to the treadmill. Mainly that was because the ellipticals were all taken, really.

We've decided to hold off on the weight-lifting until next week. Just showing up at the gym is hard enough. Man I feel like I'm starting all over. bleah.

Then after breaking a small sweat, we had dinner at our favorite restaurant, El Maz. At least we're keeping our visits there down to once a week or less.

Let me just put my goals in print, so I can't avoid them. I want (okay, need) to:
1. get my BMI down to 25.
2. be able to walk up at least 2 flights of stairs without passing out.
3. make exercise a habit.

That'll do for now. If I get too many goals I'll just give up.
If I make exercise a habit then I can eat a little more like I enjoy, right? Sure.

At least Gipper never gets tired of playtime.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

If it was a snake

After tearing the house apart, calling my mom, and tearing the house apart again, we've found it. Well, Dennis found it. Sitting out in plain view in the kitchen. We must give most of the credit to St. Anthony, though. I was getting seriously frustrated.


Digital blues

Sometime since Christmas we've managed to misplace our digital camera. D has looked everywhere for it, without success. The last time we recall actually having it was over Christmas break at my parents' house. I guess I havent' asked her if they found it, but I'm sure it would have come up if they had.

I haven't actually started looking for it yet myself, which may be the limiting factor. Somehow I'm really good at finding things which Dennis cannot. It's an unexplained talent, especially since I'm not that great at finding stuff that I've lost.

I even had a dream last night that I was going on a trip and needed the camera. In this dream I knew where I'd left it, some random hotel room from which it was unrecoverable. So I was running around town asking people what kind they'd recommend because I wanted to buy another before leaving for my trip. The dream also involved me missing my plane out of sheer stupidity (I never looked at my itinerary). So it was a little stressful.

Let's see if I can find that camera now...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

mmm, beer.

Meet Seabiscuit, the beer-lovin' dunkey!
Sherry should be so proud.

Reba's work lives on...

Lookie what I found!
My Bodoni poster is still out there. Go to My Students' Work, then choose the second image.

Ready for spring

This is one of my favorite pictures of the Gipper.

I'm so ready for spring--I really want to start working on the garden. I've been mentally planning out what I think I'll plant this year:
- corn (probably an entire box)
- green beans
- sunflowers (just so much fun)
- onions
- okra (yummy)
- cucumbers
- pumpkins (in their own patch this time)
- herbs, especially basil
- maybe some squash

Last year we built two boxes, but I think we may expand to 4 this spring. Depends on how motivated we really get. The plan is to put the pumpkin patch over in the back left corner of the yard, although we've got to be careful to avoid digging up the cable/phone lines.

Here's one of the proud gardeners admiring his handiwork:

Now if the weather would only cooperate.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It's a boy!

I just got home from delivering a beautiful 6# 3.4oz baby boy! It's so awesome when everything with a delivery goes well--a few minutes of pushing, the baby comes right out, no tears, good-looking baby and momma. Love that.
Poor little guy, he's getting a circ tomorrow. But it's better than saving it for later, I guess.
Newborn pictures here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

D's big sweater.

Here's the project that's currently soaking up all of my knitting time:

Men's Irish Cardigan

I'm knitting it in Jo Sharp Classic DK Wool in Slate. So far I've done the back and front panels and one sleeve. God, I hope this works out. I've spent way too much time on it to have it look awful. But I told Dennis that he's wearing it no matter what.

It wasn't my first choice for sweater patterns, but it actually knits up pretty easily, and the twist stitch pattern helps keep things interesting. That's usually my beef with big projects: the repetitive boringness of it.

Close-up on the twist stitch pattern.

Maybe I'll get it done just in time for next winter...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

You better Belize it.

Jill's painting of the Sugar Shack.

So the flying fiasco mentioned previously was the return trip from participating in U of L's International Service Learning Project in Belize. Pretty fun. We took an interdisciplinary group to provide medical and dental care to 2 different communities--Gale's Point and Red Bank. Sherry and I were in Gale's Point, and we had a great time.

The medical team there consisted of me, Sherry, and 2 med students, Erich and Chase. We tried to provide very basic medical care for the residents of Gale's Point. Our little "clinic," if you could even call it that, was situated in the community center. We used ropes and bedsheets to create 3 little exam rooms for some semblance of privacy.

If I had to make a guess, we probably saw 200-220 patients over our 3&1/2 days of clinic. Not too shabby. Granted, most of our patients had complaints such as, "sometimes I have a cold," and "I have backaches," but we did see a lot of actual pathology. The hardest part was not being able to treat or even fully investigate what we found.

Our diagnostic tools included vital signs, physical exam, accuchecks, and dipstick urinalysis. No EKG, no xrays, no blood tests, no cultures. And almost no medicines. We managed to provide several people with HCTZ or metformin, but we had to triage even those based on just how bad their hypertension was. Once the meds ran out, we just started writing down the medications we recommended that they obtain in the city (apparently lots of stuff is OTC in Belize). We also did some home visits, which was truly a moving experience.

I'd love to do this again next year. But I have a feeling that there might be a little more competition for spots than there even was this year. And there's some guilt involved in feeling like I got a free vacation while everyone besides our residents and faculty had to spend $2200 out of pocket. I mean, we did work hard, so it wasn't completely a vacation. And there will always be that Catholic part of me I can't escape.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy to be home.

Well, I'm finally home after what seemed like an interminable amount of time spent in airports. We were scheduled to fly out from Belize City at 4:41 pm central time on Sunday--that was pushed back an hour. Apparently the weather was bad in Dallas, our connection city. But we were assurred that all of the flights leaving Dallas were also delayed, so there would be no problem. Sure.

We did finally land in Dallas around 9:30 pm (with our delayed second flight apparently leaving sometime after 10), but then we stayed in line on the runway for an hour and a half, just waiting for a gate. In the meantime, the flight attendants told us to go ahead and call the 800 number to find out about our flights. Cause they know nothing. Eventually we get off the plane. Then imigration, then baggage claim, then customs, then the never-ending line to recheckin. At some point it was revealed to us that our flight had left without us. And it's the last flight to Louisville. And it's not American's fault because they don't make the weather.

So now we're left on our own to find accomodations for the night. At least our faculty managed to find us spots at a nearby hotel and sprang for dinner. Long story short(er), and 2 flights later, I'm home. And if they're lucky, the rest of the group is in the air right now. I guess I could check on that. Admittedly, I was fortunate to get on an earlier flight, and happily found my checked baggage sitting at the Louisville airport when I arrived.

So I guess I can stop complaining now.

Everybody's doing it.

So why shouldn't I have a blog of my own, too?